Hello All!

Where to begin? I have been entrenched in wedding lalapalooza for the last 2 months. My, well I should accurately say, our because I certainly did not make her on my own, daughter got married last Saturday, February 18th, 2012. Our whole family has been working towards this date since December of 2010 when my son in law, Mr. Patrick Martins, officially asked our daughter, Anne, to marry him, and she said "yes".

I have written a number of blog posts since Anne and Patrick became engaged. I don't think I have talked about them a lot though, because there were probably some other things on my mind, or other ideas I had spinning around, or something like that. However, (remember I said I was eliminating the word "But" from my online vocab:) today it is allllllll about them and what they just did!

Since last December 2010 much has happened. Of course, regular life has progressed and evolved with all that that entails; work, school, travel, dinners, birthdays, holidays.... regular days...etc...... yet the underlying goal was to work towards February 18th 2012. Many, and I do mean MANY people were involved in creating just this one day. It was truly astounding how much time and thought and plain old sweat went into that one day. Any of you who have been lucky enough to be at that point in life where your child, now all grown up, says he or she is getting married, know what I am talking about.

Whenever I write these posts, I sit in our dining room. Today, as I write, I am surrounded by the files, and folders, and response cards, of wedding planning, and hundreds of photos of photo documentation of how the whole backdrop and landscape of the wedding evolved. Photos of a tent being constructed, and I use the word "tent" lightly because structure is more accurate. I have the evidence of how the whole event came to be. It was like a giant metamorphosis....a single beam, piece of canvas, and finally a magical landscape. Kind of like one of the children's books I love best, where a single egg laid on a leaf in the moonlight becomes a beautiful butterfly.

My husband and I arrived a week before the wedding at our home in the Florida Keys, which is where Anne and Patrick wanted to have their wedding. When we first arrived, it was dark and I had no idea of what was evolving in our backyard. When the next day dawned and we first glimpsed what was happening, we were in awe....the months of planning and designing and creating, were now happening. My husband then began his I-Pad assault. He started taking photos on his I-Pad of each step in the process. He sent numerous, ( and I do mean NUMEROUS) photos of this backyard transformation to everyone. Our son teased him that he could have actually bundled all the pictures together. My husband, of course, shared some choice words with him...and continued his assault! Anne, the bride, said that this is what happens when you give a 55 year old CEO and I -Pad! :) The process of building and constructing and creating continued for 7 days. ( Yikes! I just realized that sounds almost biblical.)

Throughout those 7 days, people began to arrive. Family, the bride and groom, the best man, the maid of honor, the chefs and kitchen staff, who are Anne and Patrick's friends, more close friends, more family , the officiant, and finally, the band. With the arrival of each new group of people, the excitement grew. We began to celebrate. We hosted dinners, and toasted and began to revel in the realization that Anne and Patrick were here...at this place...at this time. The answer of "Yes" to a single question, had led all of us to this tipping point.

Friday arrived. The day of the rehearsal, the time of final preparation. Patrick hosted the dinner on a beautiful beach. He, along with his Mother and friends, had prepared a spectacular venue for all of us. The night was beautiful, the stars were plentiful, the music was fun and upbeat, the love and friendship evident. The food, which was so important to both Patrick and Anne, prepared by their friends, was spectacular. Simple and delicious and perfect. Patrick, himself, helped serve as a gesture of gratitude to all who came and were there for him and for Anne. At the end of the evening, as Bill and I said goodnight and thanks to Patrick, he said, " OK, now I hand this off to the Saxelbys. Tomorrow is all you." We hugged him and promised him, we would do a good job.

Saturday dawned. It was a beautiful morning. The weather seemed to have a promise in it. A promise of beauty. My husband and I knew this was an epic day. Today we would give our daughter to the man she loves. As the morning continued, Anne woke up and we shared a cup of coffee together. She looked exhilarated and excited and gloriously happy. She began to have an extraordinary smile on her face that seemed to say everything, ''Today, I get to marry the man I love, the person I have been looking for, and now have found." That smile stayed on her face the entire day and afternoon and evening.

People began to arrive in swarms. Anne's sister, Megan, arrived. Her friends arrived. Hair and makeup people arrived. Food and drink arrived. The cake arrived with Anne's friend, Kelly, who began to put in together in the middle of our kitchen. People with flowers and linen and glass and candles and lights and more and more flowers arrived. Anne's brother and grandmother arrived. The tents began to become alive with color and light and beauty. A hupa was created, more flowers arrived. Lights were placed in hurricane jars along the path for the bridal party to enter. Lights were placed on the beach to light the water as dusk approached. Guests began to arrive, the band began to play and then, Magic happened.

I saw Patrick. He had arrived and was walking around with his friends and Best Man, Toby. Bill, my husband went down to see him. Bill said Patrick looked awed and delighted and happy. All was in place. It was time.

The music began. Grandmothers were seated, Patrick walked in with his Mother, she took her seat, and the rest of the wedding party began their arrival. Anne and Bill and I were upstairs on our porch watching all of this happen. Anne was hidden waiting for her moment to arrive. The music changed, and now Bill and I walked downstairs. The music changed again, and Anne walked down the stairs and came to meet us. We held hands, all 3 of us, and walked down the aisle to where Patrick was waiting for her. His smile was amazing, his look said it all, and Anne had never stopped smiling. Bill and then I hugged and kissed Anne and hugged and kissed Patrick. It was time for the ceremony to begin.

As the ceremony began, Brian, the officiant, asked for a moment. A moment for everyone to look around at the beauty and love that was in this place and time and be present. Be present, be alive, be aware. Everyone did. Anne and Patrick had written their own vows. As I listened to each of them share their words of love and joy and commitment to each other, my heart experienced an almost visible sense of joy. A sense that life had brought these 2 people to this place, this time, this moment. It became official. Brian said, "By the power vested in me by the State of Florida, I now pronounce you husband and wife!" Mayhem ensued. Whooping and yelling and flat out hollering began. Now it was time to celebrate and eat and drink and dance with joy, which of course we all did!

As I reach this point in my "epic" I chose to look up the definition of this word. The Oxford dictionary definition of "epic" is "Adventures of heroic figure etc." Well, I am going to go with this. The heroic figures in this epic adventure are Anne and Patrick. They have chosen to write their own script. And as anyone knows, adventure heros are strong and brave and loyal. I just wonder what color their hero suits will be?

Until next time,


(There you go Sarah. :) Let Emily and Alyssa know too.